Nove Bit is an interactive 3 x 3 matrix that allows users to record sequences of light and save them as 9 bit memories. Nove Bit addresses human to computer interaction by allowing the user to physically input the memory as 9 bits, as opposed to the traditional 8 bit computer memory. Nove Bit also touches on the notion of a personal memory by recording a users’ thoughts in time and replaying them as a pattern of lights. The visual memories are stored as 9 bits, represented by a corresponding button. Compared to 8 bits, 9 bits also allows for a visually even distribution of the memory as a square. The “Nove”, which means nine in Italian, also references the Arduino Duemilnove, one of the two micro-controllers that control the unit.
The programming mode is entered as soon as the user presses any button. The user can program light sequences by simply pressing buttons in the desired pattern. Patterns are recorded after several seconds of inactivity from the user. The patterns are replayed by fading the leds on and off inside the translucent white buttons. The buttons are placed in a wooden facade, while the square, white plexi-glass case forms the base and houses the Arduino and the TLC 5940 micro-controllers. The unit is powered by a wall adapter and can easily fit on a desk, nightstand or other flat surface with limited space.
The TLC 5940 was a little tricky, but thanks to Peter Macky and his source code, I could get it working.
The source code is available for download if anyone is interested. This older post shows all of the guts and an older, crappier video.
Nove Bit from Nick Hardeman on Vimeo.
May 9, 2009 at 10:55 pm
Very interesting project! Could you elaborate on the 9-bit memory some more? I’m a tad confused as the ATmega device on the Arduino is an 8-bit device by its architecture, so I wasn’t sure how you were implementing this. Does the data for one “frame” span across multiple bytes of memory, or more than one register?
May 9, 2009 at 11:11 pm
The 9 bit memory relates to the on/off bits simulated by the buttons, and storing all of these bits (button presses). So one “frame” would span across a byte of Arduino memory. The 9 bits is referring to the amount of data that can be saved in a single “frame”, not the way that it is saved to the Arduino.
May 12, 2009 at 3:26 pm
by looking at the source it is a lot easier to understand. excellent project, it looks cool and shows a concept. I wonder how difficult this would be to do in hardware.
Good job making it too hack a day.
-Best of luck in your future endeavors.
July 12, 2009 at 5:41 pm
Nice work. Could you elaborate on the construction of the individual lights? How did you diffuse the light so well across the surface of the button? How many LEDs are under each button? What is the surface of the button constructed of?
February 8, 2010 at 12:14 pm
@ uberhund The individual lights are small, round, plastic containers purchased from the Container Store. The containers were clear, but I spray painted the inside with white to diffuse the light, making sure that it was a light coat so that the light could get through. Each button holds one 360 degree Super Bright led. Which you can view here http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-bin/store/index.cgi?action=DispPage&Page2Disp=/specs/w110-360_specs.htm Underneath the buttons are thin rubber rings, with a surface mount click button to give the effect of pushing on the button and hearing and feeling a click. There are pictures of the guts and more explanation on one of my older posts. http://nickhardeman.com/blog/?p=134
July 31, 2010 at 10:44 am
Is it really needed to have a 9 bit memory recorder? I will go out and look for it – we have a bunch of used SMT & PCB equipment for sale that we do value-add to. I’m willing to try!